by Michael Wells
Our visit to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, (CHOP) went extremely well. Brady rode in an ambulance with Sherrie and Grandma & Grandpa rode with me. We arrived early and I must say the entire pretesting for us went smoothly. Here’s the latest schedule of events;
1. Tuesday, Feb 9th 9:00am cat scan & bone marrow biopsy
2. Tuesday; Feb 9th 5:00pm depart RWHU Hospital for home –YEAH!
3. Tuesday; Feb 16th Visit RWJU outpatient client for check-up
4. Monday; Feb 22nd Brady admitted to CHOP
5. Monday; Feb 22nd – Wednesday Mar 3rd – “Conditioning” Chemotherapy
6. Thursday Mar 4th Harvesting of my stem cells
7. Thursday Mar 5th Transplantation of my stem cells to Brady
This is the tentative schedule and if I have learned anything since this whole thing started is never plan on keeping a schedule. But if this goes the way we hope; Brady will start his recovery in early March and hopefully be returning home 4-5 weeks later. He could be home somewhere around April 9th.
Once Brady is out of the hospital and home he will not be allowed around any people (other than immediate family members) for at least 2 – 3 months as his immune system will be in total disarray. But again if all goes well; we are looking at celebrating my daughter Jennifer’s birthday on the 4th of July in style.
All of these dates and projections are subject to change and I assure you they most likely will change. After our meeting with Dr. Bunin of CHOP I can only tell you this is an extremely serious and dangerous path Brady will be traveling. There are so many potential pitfalls if I listed all of them it would make a grown man cry; just as it did today.
Dilantin, Busulfan, Thiotepa, Cytoxan, Mesna, Cyclosporine, Methylprednisolone, and Acyclovir; these are the various chemo and other drugs that Brady will be receiving during his “conditioning” phase of the stem cell transplantation process. These are just for the conditioning phase and the list of potential pharmaceuticals after transplantation are dependant upon how Brady’s body responds to his Dad’s stem cells as well as whether he comes down with any graft versus host disease, bacterial, fungal, or God forbid viral infections. All of which can quickly develop into life threatening scenarios. I told you it would make you cry.
However, for now let’s focus on the positive and I must tell you I felt like a lottery winner the way everyone at CHOP responded to the news that I am a perfect match for Brady. An ideal 10 out of 10 HLA match for Brady and me. God, this is so weird, I really have to research our family trees as somewhere along the lines our ancestors were apparently a lot more than just friends. Brady will be receiving an allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (PBSCT) – stem cells from a parent. Matching the HLA so closely is just about unheard of. I think this is a very good indicator of success.
So, there it is a truly exciting time in our lives and I cannot begin to explain to you how much your comments in the guest book inspire Sherrie and me. You give us the strength of a thousand warriors and right now we need every soldier to help us win this battle. Please continue your prayers, good thoughts and hugs they are working a miracle.
PS Brady had his first Happy Meal today at the 24 hour McDonalds located in the CHOP lobby and he just loved it!!!
“8 Years Later—Still No Cure for Pediatric Cancer” is a series of posts revisiting the journal kept by Sherrie and Michael Wells during the cancer diagnosis and treatment of their son, Brady Michael. Hopefully these entires will provide an understanding of the journey families face when dealing with these horrific diseases and of the important work the Hugs for Brady Foundation does.
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